When we save lives, not take them. When we prevent civil wars through aid and assistance, not cause them with military attacks. When we make friends instead of enemies.
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf paid emotional tribute to the American people on Thursday as the United States formally wound up its successful five-month mission to combat the west African nation's Ebola outbreak.When I traveled in Europe thirty years ago, there were people there still living who remembered the American troops who liberated them during World War II in France and Italy and Belgium and the Netherlands. People in Germany who remembered the Marshall Plan that saved them from starvation and economic catastrophe. People who would never forget, and would always view Americans as heroes, as saviors.
With Liberia now in recovery from the worst outbreak of the deadly virus in history, the visiting Sirleaf thanked the United States for coming to the region's aid in its hour of need."America responded, you did not run from Liberia," Sirleaf told US lawmakers in Washington, expressing the "profound gratitude" of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
Liberia, once the country worst hit by Ebola, has registered 4,037 of around 9,600 deaths in the epidemic, which began in Guinea in December 2013.
At its height in the final four months of last year, Liberia and Sierra Leone were recording between 300 and 550 confirmed, suspect and probable cases a week.
It was in some of the darkest days in August when the Liberian leader said she reached out to US President Barack Obama and to the US Congress amid "grim and terrifying" international predictions that before the end of January at least 20,000 people would die every month.But with US help, including a military force which reached 2,800 personnel at one point, there are now only one to three new infections each week in Liberia.
"We are chasing the very last element of the chain of transmission we have," Sirleaf said, praising all the international and regional military and aid workers who "reached beyond their fears and ran towards the danger and not from it."
That's the "essential nation" I love, the one I think President Barack Obama loves, too.
That's the nation vicious morons like George W. Bush and torture-porn-lovers like Dick Cheney will never even know.
The nation repugs and freakzoids and warmongers and gun nuts can't even imagine.